For fear of the loan shark’s revenge

JOHOR BARU: After being harassed by loan sharks for over a year, a 24-year-old man finally caught one of them who was responsible for making his and his family’s life hell.

But he lives in fear now.

A. Siva Rao and his brother accidentally caught one of the loan sharks as it was circling their home on December 14th.

“We recognized the car when we saw a person in the same car drop a gasoline bomb into our house. We managed to block the car and catch the man.

“We found glass bottles, petrol tanks, red paint and threatening letters with addresses in the car,” he said and handed the man over to the police.

Siva said he was living in fear now, for fear that the loan sharks would haunt him.

“I fear they will pursue me if he comes out of police custody after his pre-trial detention expires,” he said.

Siva said his plight began in December last year when the loan sharks dropped a gasoline bomb on his home in Skudai.

“It was our family home and there were toddlers and seniors living in the house. They were traumatized by the incident.

“The loan sharks continued to harass us and ask us to repay a loan if we want the threats to stop, but neither of us had taken out loans from loan sharks,” he said.

He added that gasoline bombs and red paint have been thrown into her home more than eight times since last year.

“We made several police reports, but we continued to receive threats.

“We then decided to just give the loan sharks money in hopes that they would stop the threats,” he said, adding that they paid the loan sharks RM 33,000 and S $ 8,000 (RM 24,000), respectively.

Siva said he had no choice but to take out a personal loan from a bank to pay off the loan sharks, even though he did not borrow any money from them.

“We are concerned that there are only women and children in our house. The rest work in Singapore.

“They stopped bothering us for a while after they got the money, but they started again a few days ago,” he said, adding that he had left his job as a security officer in Singapore to return to take care of the matter and keep his family safe.

Johor Police Chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said police will do everything possible to root out loan shark syndicates in the state.

“We arrested 296 people this year who were involved in loan shark activities, which resulted in the end of around nine loan shark syndicates in Johor.

“The police will continue to crack down on such activities and those involved,” he said, adding that around 338 criminal investigation papers have been opened by loan shark syndicates.

Comm Ayob also urged the public not to be afraid and provide information about such activities to the police.

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